Film (1963; vt Voyage to the End of the Universe; vt Icarus XB-1). Filmové studio Barrandov. Directed by Jindřich Polák. Written by Pavel Juráček, Polák. Cast includes Radovan Lukavský, Dana Medřická and Zdeněk Štěpánek. 81 minutes, cut to 65 minutes. Colour.
This interesting Czech film is set in a giant spaceship (with elaborate interiors designed by Jan Záýzvorka) on a long exploratory mission. The shipboard routines, coolly observed, create the impression of a culture alien to ours. The stock situations of comparable US-UK films and television series (Star Trek and Space: 1999, for example) are mostly avoided by the Czech writers, although the build-up of suspense when the spaceship encounters a wreck floating in space adds a touch of Space Opera. An amusing sequence is the discovery of a group of corpses seated around a table and dressed in opulent finery, the men even wearing top hats, in a Russian-style caricature of American capitalism. The ending – the spaceship reaches a planet that we realize is contemporary Earth – is a US addition to the otherwise savagely cut print used for US and UK release. [JB/PN]
see also: Cinema.
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